I sit upon the stool leaning my back against the wall with my feet propped on the supporting bar of the stool’s legs. The players spar – thrust and defend. Other observers stand in clusters cheering and jeering the players and acting buffoons some of them.‘Do you mind if I sit here?’ a deep, north English accent purrs. I look up into his blue eyes and inwardly shiver.
‘Not at all,’ I reply with what’s hopefully a gracious smile. He grins and relaxes his 6’3 frame onto the stool next to mine. We sit in companionable silence taking in the frivolity.
‘I admire what you had to say about the Hunger Games –.‘ Oh, he’s talking to me; my inner-self giggles. ‘It’s not easy to hold to an opinion that goes against the grain. But you haven’t read any of the books?’
I gently smile at his compliment and say, ‘No, I’m leery of getting too caught up in a series. It’s all because of the T.V. show Lost – the ending. I felt so betrayed. All we got for answer was “one question will lead to another…” – such a slap in the face. Also keeping up with a series is hard work – all the characters and place names to keep track of. Of course, The Hunger Games is only a trilogy, but I’m glad I didn’t read it first.’
‘You don’t like to read a book before you see the movie?’
‘Oh no. I very much prefer to read the book first in most cases, but if I’m not sure about a story – especially one that spans across more than one book – it’s nice to spend two or three hours watching a movie as opposed to investing months with three large books.’
‘So you don’t like to read series stories or sagas either?’
I snort. ‘I make that comment about being leery of stories that last three or more books, but in reality right now I’m in the middle of….three of them? It was four, but I finished one.’
‘Which was that?’
‘The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley. They’re kids’ books, so I could easily finish one in a day given the time. There are nine books in that series. I enjoyed it.’
‘I’ve heard of those. My niece is into them. Big fan.’ I bow my head sheepishly. I have the same tastes as a nine-year-old. ‘But if they’re that good, maybe I should give them a try. My niece really likes – is it the younger sister?’
‘Ah yes. That sounds familiar. But her favourite is Mirror, she says.’
‘Mmm. How far is your niece into the books? Do you know?’
‘Uh, the fifth book, I think? She mentioned something about time travel.’
‘Yeah, that sounds about right.’ I bite my tongue to avoid spoiling the story’s big reveal.
He chuckles. ‘She says if they make the series into a movie, “which they should of course,”’ he says with mock seriousness –
‘Oh, of course. Every great book series deserves a movie,’ I play along.
‘Right? Yes. She says if they make Sisters Grimm into a movie, I should play Prince Charming. I don’t know about me as Prince Charming.’
I snicker. ‘Actually, when I read the books, you were playing Charming in my head.’
He laughs. ‘Oh really? Charming, huh?’
‘Yeah. He’s an arrogant sot, but he’s all right deep down.’ Pause for dramatic effect. ‘Or is he?’
‘Yes, ooo….’ I laugh, and he flashes that warm, gorgeous smile. Oh yes, more please!
'So, if they ever make them into a movie, which they should of course –‘
‘I should send in an audition tape straight away.’
‘Most definitely.’ We laugh.
‘What other series are you reading?’
‘Well, there are two I pick up every now and then. Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind --.’
‘Ah, excellent. Which book are you on?’
‘Not very far I’m afraid. Just finished the fifth book.’
‘Okay. What else?’
‘Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.’
‘Is that one they’ve made into a T.V. series?’
‘Yes,’ I say disappointedly.
‘Not going to watch then?’
‘Eh. I may watch an episode just to see. Out of curiosity. But I don’t think there’s any hope to a T.V. show or movie matching the world in my head.’
‘Yeah. What’s the name of the bloke in it?’
‘The actor in the show? Or the character?’
‘Jamie “I will never be satisfied by another man” Fraser.’ This elicits a hearty laugh. Score.
‘That’s quite a moniker.’
I smile sheepishly. ‘Um, and right now I’m making my way through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.’
‘Oh, I haven’t heard of that one. What’s it about?’
‘Well, it’s a bit like Sword of Truth, actually. Similar character types and of course the epic hero’s journey. Only Wheel of Time follows more than one hero, so it’s more the heroes' journeys.’
‘Really? And it’s called Wheel of Time?’
‘Yeah. The first book is called Eye of the World.’
‘I’ll have to check that out. I liked the Sword of Truth series.’
‘Wheel of Time isn’t quite as dark as Sword of Truth. It’s like a PG-13 ensemble version of Sword of Truth.’
He laughs again. ‘Okay.’
*** Thus ended my allotted hour to write. Until next time. ***